SOMERS, N.Y. – The Brewster, Yorktown, Somers and North Salem varsity hockey programs will compete this season as the combined “BYSNS” squad.
“We will be pronouncing it Bisons, like the animal,” said Joey Bonitatibus, a 2010 Yorktown graduate and former All-League winger.
Bonitatibus is co-coaching the team with Joe Lopane (Brewster) and John Veteri (North Salem).
In year’s past, Somers/North Salem and Yorktown/Brewster have competed as separate teams. Last year, however, Somers/North Salem canceled its season due to low participation.
The Yorktown/Brewster team finished 8-13-1, including a 4-1 victory as the No. 9 seed, in the opening round of the Section 1 Division 1 Tournament.
The roster is made up of seven players from North Salem, three from Somers, 10 from Yorktown, and eight from Brewster.
The Somers players are Jaden Rothschild, Carson Brunco, and Brien Suchanek.
“We have a lot of variety, given all the schools coming together,” Bonitatibus said. “We have strong goaltending, and our team is very young, leaving a lot of room to grow.”
Despite being a new experience, the coaches aren’t tempering expectations.
“The expectation among the coaches is to win a section title,” Bonitatibus said. “Our goals are above that.”
The BYSNS will start their season at 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 29 against Rye Town in the Guy Matthews Thanksgiving Invitational Hockey Tournament, at Ebersole Hockey Rink in White Plains, then play Mahopac the following day at 9 a.m.
Their Dec. 1 matchup will depend on the results of the first two games.
A big key in getting off to a good start will be how the players come together as a team, Bonitatibus said.
“It will just be a matter of time until they can figure out each other’s play style and adapt,” Bonitatibus said.